Rip Empson

Rip Empson
Rip Empson is a writer, explorer, eager learner and part-time rabble-rouser -- whatever that means. Today, you can find him working as a senior associate at Morgenthaler Ventures and Canvas Venture Fund. He works in a marketing, PR and advisory capacity both for the Morgenthaler, Canvas and their portfolio companies (like Lending Club, Doximity, Evernote, Check and MuleSoft to name a few), and also spends time on the investment side, helping the Canvas team find face-meltingly amazing startups. Before venture capitalizing, Rip spent nearly four years at TechCrunch, the leading technology publication and media dynamo, where he covered startups. Why? Because some of those startups could become the next Googles, Facebooks and Twitters of the world, but they just can’t afford the office space yet. Plus, entrepreneurs tend to be more insane (and interesting) than the average human. Within the Whacky World Of Startups, Rip focused most of his attention on chronicling the rise of technology and ambush of innovation on health and education. That is to say: While he's interested in startups and entrepreneurs of all stripes (both then and now), he's particularly passionate about those that are disrupting the disruptable disruptions, and ideas that are actually going to change the world (and/or make it a better place -- for humans and our future Robot Overlords alike). That’s why he's followed book larnin’ tech and next-gen stethoscope apps with such admirable gusto. (Also because he is a hypochondriac and never graduated from 5th grade. HUZZAH!) Rip has been quoted by various people at various times – some of them publications and super wicked famous people referencing his work – some of them people mistakenly re-tweeting him thinking he’s Rip Torn. Is he a budding national treasure? You said it, not him. As to what he’s doing right now? He’s either transferring his life savings from Scramble With Friends tokens to Bitcoin or vice versa. Hard to say, really. CrunchBase profile →

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  • RunKeeper Adds New Integration To Its Health Graph In Hopes Of Building 'The Facebook Of Fitness'

    RunKeeper Adds New Integration To Its Health Graph In Hopes Of Building 'The Facebook Of Fitness'

    You may have heard about the social graph and the interest graph, but what about the health graph? Thanks to RunKeeper, this term may soon become an oft-used part of your vocabulary. RunKeeper, for those unfamiliar, was founded three years ago as a simple iPhone app and a small online fitness community designed to help runners and other fitness enthusiasts employ smartphone technology to… Read More

  • Study: VCs Still Addicted To IPOs

    Study: VCs Still Addicted To IPOs

    It seems that Venture investors are none-too-happy with current IPO activity. According to a study sponsored by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association released yesterday, over 80 percent of venture capitalists from around the globe believe “that current IPO activity levels in their home countries are too low”. Low enough, in fact, that it has investors worrying… Read More

  • Ringleadr Raises $500K, Launches Service To Let Users Create Their Own Deals

    Ringleadr Raises $500K, Launches Service To Let Users Create Their Own Deals

    Hot on the heels of Loopt’s announcement that it is moving into the daily deals space with U-Deals, a young startup called Ringleadr is chiming in with its own user-generated deals service. Rather than fall back on deals that are already being offered through the hundreds of deals sites across the Web, Ringleadr wants to let its users make the deals. Read More

  • Music Discovery Platform exfm Goes Mobile With A Killer App For iOS

    Music Discovery Platform exfm Goes Mobile With A Killer App For iOS

    The artist formerly known as Extension Entertainment, now known simply as exfm, has officially gone mobile today, releasing its first mobile app for iOS. I’ve been enjoying exfm for a few months now through the startup’s Chrome extension, so I’m very excited to be able to finally bring that experience with me on-the-go. Read More

  • Off And Running: Loopt's First U-Deal Sells Out In Less Than An Hour

    Off And Running: Loopt's First U-Deal Sells Out In Less Than An Hour

    Loopt has gone through quite a few incarnations, and this morning that tradition continued as the mobile social network announced it was entering the daily deals space with a service called U-Deals. In essence, U-Deals lets users request their own deals. After submitting an idea for a deal, users can then drum up interest by way of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Read More

  • A New Mobile Social Games King In The U.S.? Former Facebookers Take Storm8 To 210 Million Downloads

    A New Mobile Social Games King In The U.S.? Former Facebookers Take Storm8 To 210 Million Downloads

    On the heels of PopCap’s billion dollar acquisition comes some interesting news from the social games front: Game developer Storm8 is today announcing a few impressive stats. Among other things, the company is claiming that it has become the “largest mobile social games developer in the U.S.”, boasting over 210 million downloads across iOS and Android. While those numbers… Read More

  • 85 Percent Of Firefox Users Have Installed Add-ons (Oh, And Firefox 5 Is Ready, Too)

    85 Percent Of Firefox Users Have Installed Add-ons (Oh, And Firefox 5 Is Ready, Too)

    I think we all know that add-ons have grown integral to the Firefox experience — and popular, to say the least — but we didn’t know just how popular until now. Today, Mozilla said through its blog that 85 percent of Firefox 4 users have installed add-ons. The company then added that, though it had expected the percentage of add-ons downloaded on Firefox 4 (which was released… Read More

  • To 4G Or Not To 4G? Consumers Don't Give A Hoot.

    To 4G Or Not To 4G? Consumers Don't Give A Hoot.

    There’s been a lot of hype around 4G of late, with talk about how the new network standard provides increased speeds, better device functionality, and all that jazz. But is 4G a term that actually has real world meaning, or is it just some place-holding buzzword used by marketers to stoke consumer excitement over buying a new phone? Morpace, a market research and consulting company… Read More

  • DealsGoRound Launches Deal Wallet To Let Consumers Organize Daily Deals In One Place

    DealsGoRound Launches Deal Wallet To Let Consumers Organize Daily Deals In One Place

    The three people following my posts might be aware that yesterday I wrote about an awesome startup called CityPockets that offers users a wallet for all their daily deals — as well as a secondary marketplace to resell deals they won’t use. Well, today DealsGoRound, one of the first secondary daily deals markets, announced that it’s not to be outdone. The startup, which… Read More

  • VibeDeck Raises $2 Million For Direct-To-Fan eCommerce Platform For Musicians

    VibeDeck Raises $2 Million For Direct-To-Fan eCommerce Platform For Musicians

    VibeDeck, a web service that enables music artists to sell their digital wares directly to their fans for free, announced today that it has raised a $2 million seed round from several U.S. and international investors. The early-stage startup launched in beta just last month and plans to use this round of seed capital to ramp up hiring, expand its marketing efforts, and add functionality to… Read More

  • Daily Deal Wallet CityPockets Raises $735K; Adds Secondary Marketplace For Deal Resale

    Daily Deal Wallet CityPockets Raises $735K; Adds Secondary Marketplace For Deal Resale

    Like them or not, Groupon has successfully brought coupons to a whole new generation. Tellingly, this has resulted in a cavalcade of clones popping up in its wake — and they continue to pop up — like some kind of infectious popcorn. The effect of which is that bargain hunters, coupon clippers, local shoppers, and those just looking to save a few bucks — all these people… Read More

  • Decide Launches An Electronics Shopping Service That Tells You When To Buy (And Wait)

    Decide Launches An Electronics Shopping Service That Tells You When To Buy (And Wait)

    Decide.com has been cloaked in stealth mode for nearly the last two years. During that time, the startup has remained tight-lipped about what it’s been up to, while at the same time managing to raise $8.5 million from Maveron, Madrona Venture Group, Google founding board member Ram Shriram, former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford, and others — all in the name of building a… Read More

  • The Bitcoin Trials Continue: Mt. Gox Exchange Collapses Due To Compromised Account

    The Bitcoin Trials Continue: Mt. Gox Exchange Collapses Due To Compromised Account

    It seems that Bitcoin is experiencing the same fits and starts that any new currency undergoes early in its history. Though Bitcoin is 2 years old, the mainstream press discovered it much more recently, and since then, Bitcoin has experienced some schizophrenic volatility — you can read Jon Evans’ recent diagnosis here. Yet, absent from Evans’ post is the very latest news out… Read More

  • New Health-Focused Startup Accelerator Rock Health Debuts Inaugural Batch

    New Health-Focused Startup Accelerator Rock Health Debuts Inaugural Batch

    If the numbers shared by Gigaom in this infographic are any indication, Venture funding has stormed back to where it was before the financial collapse in 2008. The amount of capital invested is on the rise, and the current climate is providing an excellent opportunity for startups looking to raise money. GRP Partner Mark Suster confirmed as much at his talk at the Founder Institute this week… Read More

  • Talking The Talk: Verbally Lets The Speech Disabled Communicate Using The iPad (For Free)

    Talking The Talk: Verbally Lets The Speech Disabled Communicate Using The iPad (For Free)

    Intuary, a mobile app startup, recently launched its first app, called Verbally, which is designed to bring speech to those without. Verbally is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution built for the more than six million people in the U.S. suffering from speech disabilities — caused by Lou Gherig’s Disease, stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s, cerebral… Read More

  • U.S. Trade Commission Gives The Green Light To Microsoft's $8.5 Billion Cash Takeover Of Skype

    U.S. Trade Commission Gives The Green Light To Microsoft's $8.5 Billion Cash Takeover Of Skype

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said today that it has approved Microsoft’s $8.5 billion cash takeover of voice and video-over-IP provider Skype. Microsoft officially announced its intent to acquire Skype back on May 10 and, since then, users have been taking to Twitter to blame Microsoft for Skype’s intermittent service. The criticism, at least in that sense, has been a bit… Read More

  • Cutting The Cord: WildChords Brings Guitar Hero To Real Guitars On The iPad

    Cutting The Cord: WildChords Brings Guitar Hero To Real Guitars On The iPad

    Learning to play an instrument is challenging; the progress in the early stages is slow, and the exercises that help you learn are boring and tedious. It’s largely for this reason that so many people give up on their chosen instrument before they reach vaunted rock star status. So, to combat this drop-out problem, Ovelin, an early-stage startup from Finland has built a game for the… Read More

  • X-Men Director, Stan Lee, And Other Notables Use Crowdsourcing Startup To Mine For Talent

    X-Men Director, Stan Lee, And Other Notables Use Crowdsourcing Startup To Mine For Talent

    Whether it’s an altruistic push to give back to and interact with their fans or to just drum up publicity for their brands, it seems that a number of well-known musicians, artists, and creatives are turning to Talenthouse to get inspiration for their projects from everyday web users like you and me. These crowdsourced projects tend to range across the board: Soundgarden (I had no idea… Read More

  • Lackluster Forecasts, Declining Revenue, And Imminent Layoffs: A Rough Quarter For RIM

    Lackluster Forecasts, Declining Revenue, And Imminent Layoffs: A Rough Quarter For RIM

    Just because things are expected, doesn’t mean they don’t hurt. This is the case for Research In Motion (RIM), which has been steadily slashing expectations over sales and earnings for the first quarter, released its report today. And it doesn’t look good. Net income for the first quarter was a low $695 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, compared with net income of $934… Read More

  • AppRedeem Rewarded With $700K From SV Angel And Blue Run Ventures

    AppRedeem Rewarded With $700K From SV Angel And Blue Run Ventures

    AppRedeem, a Mountain View-based startup that aims to offer mobile app developers innovative, effective solutions to driving app installs and engagement, announced today that it has raised $700K in seed funding from SV Angel and Blue Run Ventures. The startup plans to use its infusion of capital to expand its engineering resources and to accelerate its development onto other mobile… Read More